Monday, December 31, 2007
tonite i headed out to brooklyn to meet dan & afia for dinner. after some indecisiveness, it was agreed we go to a mediterranean tapas place on bergen called BEAST. bad name - great spot. we shared 5 plates : manchego cheese squares, scallops with pumpkin puree, chicken skewers w. cous cous, chorizo and skirt steak with citrus something or another... then we split a banana pistachio ice cream dessert - but the big money offering of the night was the toffee sticky pudding. ho-lee geez-uss - it was good!!! despite the chill and the rain, i good time was had by all.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
the run down:
-dates, dried apricot, nut plate
-christmas cake (yellow cake dyed green and red)
-(4) types of cookies
-merenques (santa-hat shaped)
-a yule log
-german chocolate pie
-some kind of parfait
i came home with a plate of sweets, suffice it to say - and have been eating since i awoke this...yum afternoon. i weighed 175 lbs on Dec 15, let's see how i hold up.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
my buddies Howard, Jonathan (of local theory) and I went to dinner last night at Artisanal. it was a celebration, partly of my birthday, and partly of the success of our program surrounding Cannes which I blogged about earlier this year. we created a show of it and that show will air on MTV globally starting in the 20th of December. cool, huh?! anyhow, back to the dinner >>> "HOLY QUESO, Batman!!!" it is 12 hours after we gorged - and i'm still completely full. we started with a 100 cheese fondue - a different flavor in every bite. then like 5 appetizers -- including cheese puffs. then i had a main and the guys split a seafood course for two. we ended with an order of mac & cheese, a cheese plate, and coffee and profiteroles. soooo much food -- and all good. still full.
Monday, December 17, 2007
i don't know why i found this funny - but i did. there must be some sticky and smelly peeps out there for Gillette to create this line of products. damn!
uncrate.com is my favorite "new/ cool stuff" site. you gotta pop on there to read their review. it mentions my homey, scott van pelt, from sportscenter. also feel free to buy me something on there as a belated birthday gift. (but i don't need this one, as i'm not stinky -- at least i don't think i am...) :)
Blogged with Flock
Thursday, December 13, 2007
so i'm coming back from my friends' (par-lay and stimulus) party - got a coupla slices and proceeded to the 6 train at Astor Place... and after waiting for a few minutes, this woman came onto the platform with her own office swivel chair and a floor lamp. i had to ask her to take a photo! the funniest part of the experience though, was when she got on the train - sat down with her chair and lamp, and caught up on some reading. as people boarded people looked but no one said a word. i love this city!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
earlier this week i was in london for meetings, i took advantage of my time there on the weekend (must fly in early to avoid falling asleep in monday morning meetings due to horrible jet-lag) to do a little sightseeing. photos below. i also had a chance to attend a stellar party thrown by BBE. the dj line-up was outta control : osunlade (house), little louie vega (house), dj premier (hiphop), marley marl (hiphop), kon & amir from fat beats nyc (jazz), gilles peterson (jazzy soul).
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Friday, November 30, 2007
each year various vendors set up shop amidst union square to offer holiday cheer and, more importantly, goods. i am a sucker for street fairs and outdoor markets, so i strolled through. some cute stuff. the interesting thing about getting older is that i don't get gifts - or give gifts anymore really, so holiday markets are more entertainment than chore. i think i will head back later in december and replace my MTA wallet, which i adore - but is getting a bit frayed & faded. birthday present to myself. :)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
most of you are aware that i really enjoy living in new york. the sounds, the people, the places, the smells... all of it. occasionally i find myself inspired to take a photo of what makes nyc beautiful to me. this is one of those photos. prince and mott. my good friend john just opened a wonderful haberdashery store named Lugo around the corner from where this photo was taken. stop by if you're in the neighborhood.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Originally uploaded by djtakefive.
my good friend janice got married this past weekend. i am so happy for her! she met a great guy in jim and i trust they will live many happy years together. view more photos of their shin-dig in the presidio/ tiburon, san francisco, here : http://flickr.com/photos/djtakefive/sets/72157603008997823/
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
so, i did it. i sold them - all of them. well, most of them. i held onto the treasures, like biggie's singles : 'one more chance' and 'juicy', and black moon's classic 'enta da stage'... and other treats from my youth... but for the most part, all gone... over 1000 pieces of vinyl. i'm a bit sad. but, it's a new era. SERATO is king. sh*t if questlove can rock with it, i can too. whoever came up with it is a genius! your computer streams tracks down to two pieces of vinyl encoded to play whatever you desire in your hard-drive. magnificent! 8000 songs in a small bag - no back aches. lovely.
also, it freed up room in my apartment, tiny as it is. maybe i'll throw a 'no more vinyl' party...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
this weekend i had the opportunity to see many of my good friends (almost all from college) -- share stories, laugh a lot, eat some food, watch a riveting movie and catch a super live show. yes, much was accomplished these last coupla days. raffy came to town, as did dmax. jamal, dan, darryl & i went to see lil brother at highline ballroom (an astoundingly energetic show!) - after we'd caught up with felix, jav, alvarez, raffy & johnny nightlife at cafe noir for the saturday afternoon reggae session. the PENN reunion was completed today when rich joined the crew for sunday brunch at the barking dog - then drinks at vertigo while we watched all 6 active nfl games. finally, a few of us caught 'michael clayton' before adjourning back my apt to watch my most recent DVD purchase -- 1990s rap videos mixed by dj souljah. a perfect way to culminate the reminiscence weekend.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Max Roach was an exceptional jazz drummer. he passed away last month - and in the current issue of the Village Voice, which I read during my visit to the Creperie on 3rd ave. (turkey, provolone, salt and pepper - topped with some mozzarella shavings -- yum!), you will find a very thorough article about his life and craft .it recounts that max was part of some of the most influential bebop jazz groups, but also began composing his own works as his career continued. coincidently, his most renowned work is dedicated to a telling of the struggles of South Africa in the 60s during apatheid. It is titled "We Insist - Freedom Now!". It is incredibly well done. the above link will send you to itunes so you can listen for yourself. enjoy.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
many stories, too many to share - but pics are worth 1000 words...right?
CAPE TOWN http://flickr.com/photos/djtakefive/sets/72157601881621265/ JO-BURG http://flickr.com/photos/djtakefive/sets/72157601875708850/ SOWETO http://flickr.com/photos/djtakefive/sets/72157601875761866/
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
yesterday i went up to millbrook, ny to dj a reception for a wedding that took place a few weeks ago. the set up for the party was straight out of one of those MTV shows : my super sweet 16 or whatever. the grounds of their house extended for acres upon acres, with pools and tennis courts, cattle and the like...
the set up for the party was a tent that surrounded their pool, arabic-themed - as the groom is lebanese. the party was back-tie, of course, and featured a belly dancer, hookas and the works. apparently the 120 guests went through 85 bottles of champagne in the first 1 and a half hours. must be nice. i was able to play some cool remixes that my friend Omar's brother made - traditional middle eastern music blended with modern day hiphop and r&b. the party lasted until 3am. i'm sure the champagne played a part in that. :) anyhow, check out some of the photos i snapped prior to the festivities beginning... here.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Originally uploaded by djtakefive.
this past weekend was music-filled and friend-filled, just the way I like it. friday night, I went to the FREEDOM party with my homies, Dex and Mike. If you are in NYC, you must go to this party! every friday my friend Kenny (dj herbert) and Dj Cosi play hours and hours of great music to shake your tookus to. lots of old r&b and classic soul - old school hiphop and some dance classics -- think : Debbie Deb "when i hear music". anyhow, so that was friday night. then on sat Dex and I played volleyball in Central Park -- then we went to Latin music day at Summer Stage... then we treked to Brooklyn to go to an outdoor concert in DUMBO. (down under the manhattan bridge overpass). the headliner for the outdoor show was LL Cool J - and man... can he still rock the party! view some more photos on my Flickr page : here.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
this afternoon my friend Delauno and I went to the see the Bourne Ultimatum. it's the best action movie i have seen in several years -- and i watch ALOT of action movies. there is nothing frivolous, no wildly unbelievable scenes, and minimal dialogue. plus, the movie takes place in some of the best cities in the world. perfect. go see it on the big screen - then buy it on dvd so you can watch the most amazing hand-to-hand combat scene in slow motion on your flat screen. i'm gonna go back and buy the trilogy.
Low Expectations Being the Key to Happiness
20-something girl #1: Oooh, I think I see the bus!
20-something girl #2: Yes!
20-something girl #1: Don't get too excited. I'm not sure I see it yet.
20-something girl #2: I won't. I mean, it's just a bus. It's not like it's Santa.
--6th & 8th, Park Slope
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
this past week, i met up with several former PENN classmates.
-- I played basketball with my buddy SCOTT - Class of '98. He is in law school now, so it's always nice to catch him in between reading/ studying/ debating.
-- On the way to a meeting about a wedding i'm soon to dj, i ran into MIKE, Class of '98 on the street. He works for a small company you may have heard of called GOOGLE. ;) - and is married, lives in soho and is generally doing well.
-- DOUG(gie) FRESH. Class of 2000. he turned 29 a few days ago - and came in from Las Vegas, where he does real estate, to celebrate his and his father's birthday in the city. a bunch of us met up at CITRUS on the upper west side. Another fellow PENN alum, TINO, joined the party with his new fiancee.
-- CLAY, YURIEL, RICH, MIKE & KIM. Class(es) of '97, '98. my good friend Clay was in from Chicago, so a crew met up at OPUS 22 for drinks and various rabble-wrouzing activities. good to see those guys - it'd been a while.
-- I went to my friend, Ian's, BBQ - not your average cook-out in brooklyn, though. it was sponsored by Vitamin Water, Smirnoff and a magazine. It featured performances, and 5 djs.
Check out some pics ----> here. So, as I sipped my FOCUS flavor water, I spotted my old friend from university, AARON. Class of '95. He, along with some other friends of mine, was part of an underground group at PENN that i'll write more about later. anyhow, check out the site Aaron works on:: limachips.com.
-- My friend Darryl, Class of '98, was in town again. so we hung out - drank and caught up with Method Man who performed at the Rock the Bells concert. (shout out to a-sun and dj mathematics)
Anyhow, next year, is my 10 year reunion --- crazy how time flies.
Friday, July 27, 2007
on 14th street on the west side, there is CHINESE/ LATIN eatery.
they are called Ch(ee)na-Latina, aqui en Nueva York.
"i'll have the number 4, please -- Chorizo to start - with Pork Fried ... Rice - and Beans, Chicken and Broccoli for my entree - Platanos on the side - and Flan and Fortune Cookies for dessert."
nutty - kooky - crazy.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
their latest place is called Johnny Utah's - a bar/ restaurant place near rockefeller center that features a western theme -- and YES - a mechanical bull. no bulls**t. they really have one. in fact, it's pictured here. see --- i told ya! so, stop on in - and jump on.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
today, my mom and i walked around soho and nolita. when we both got hungry my mom spotted a place i'd wanted to check out for months but hadn't yet - so, perfect opportunity. the place is called SOHO PARK - but it's really a garden -- a beer garden -- and an eatery. we chowed on belgium frites with garlic aioli and curry mayo dipping sauces to accompany our '0 grams of trans fat' hot dogs. yum! i'll go back for beer another time. de koninck is my new favorite belgium beer. what's yours???
Saturday, July 21, 2007
my mom and i wandered to the upper west side today. i have been procrastinating on doing my renovation, and tasked my self and her with coming up with solidified plans for bathroom and kitchen and actually buying stuff. so, in the past few days we've found bathroom faucets and some fixturing, kitchen appliances and strategized on how to re-do the rooms in the cheapest way possible, while maintaining our high standards. :) we got some great ideas today at Gracious Home. tomorrow we choose tiles. on the back-end of our excursion, i treated mom to lunch at a lovely restaurant, with a lovely little garden in back - called Bello Giardino. as many of you are aware, i'm no foodie - but this place is good. check it out. the tiramisu was magnificent. additionally, our waiter had the same Tibetan ring as i -- and reminded me what it said, since i'd forgotten. OM MANI PADME HUM - "hail to the jewel in the lotus" - a buddhist mantra - written in sanskrit.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Originally uploaded by djtakefive.
for the 4th year in a row, my dad and i met up in holland to attend the north sea jazz festival. it is a 3 day festival -- a jazz extravaganza! and real jazz -- not like the concerts we have here in the States, where Dave Matthews and Cream perform and they still call it a "jazz" festival. last year, due to the scheduled performers, we chose to only go 2 of the 3 days. it was nice and manageable -- but this year it was unavoidable to go all 3 days. plus, for the first time, we went to a few venues where an additional fee is required -- they are more intimate and a seat is assigned - so no pushing and fighting to get a good view.
Ok - so here goes:
DAY 1: (jam-packed)
1) TERENCE BLANCHARD played the scores that he wrote for SPIKE LEE movies thruout the years. Spike took the time to cut footage from each of the featured films to show while Terence and crew played - brilliant stuff. Bilal, Patti Austin & Jamie Cullum each performed 2 songs to accompany Blanchard. the highlight, both from a visual and lyrical perspective was Cullum's rendition of Sam Cooke's 'change gonna come'. the closing song and sort of anthem for Spike's 'X' - about black leader Malcolm X. the fact that we went to a paid venue to start the whole festival was a great move -- civilized before the crazy crowds.
2) McCOY TYNER quartet - WOW! we saw them last year as well. this is just straight up INCREDIBLE real jazz. the mean age of the performers was 60 - and their experience showed. wonderful stuff.
3) THE ROOTS - there are 2 really big venues at the festival where they book more mainstream acts. I dragged my dad to go so the "LEGENDARY ROOTS CREW FROM PHILLY" -- and as usual - they were great. they played their, now signature, ode to hiphop today and yesterday, by skillfully mimicked 30 different songs by other artists. they delved into rock and jazz and performed some of their hits. my dad actually really enjoyed their set.
4) WYNTON MARSALIS and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra - I flew 7.5 hours to see the guys that play a 10 minute subway ride away here in NYC.. hahahahahaha. they were great though.
5) BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB - we ended the night at a paid venue too. when you've started your day at 6pm - and its now midnight, a seat is a wonderful thing. the Cubanos did not disappoint. a stellar end to the day.
DAY 2 : (more dancing, more singing, less acts)
1) TRIBUTE TO JAMES BROWN - Instead of going to see a live act, my dad was really excited to see DJ Manga play james brown hits. he had some wonderful live tracks that i've never heard before -- and he also rocked some other great soulful dancy tunes.
2) RAUL MIDON - I've written about him before, and suffice it to say -- go out and buy his album STATE OF MIND. just buy it - he's freakin' amazing. India Aire who performed later on at another stage surprised him for one song - he had no idea what was going on... my dad and i went to see her briefly on the big stage, but opted to get food instead of listening to her seemingly 10 minute introductions for each song.
3) DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER - She is normally a lounge singer - who went to Mali (africa) to discover her roots and returned to perform some great african inspired tunes with a wonderful group of musician from Mali and around the world. Again, a seat in the paid venue at night's end was lovely.
DAY 3 : (amy no-show)
I, along with many other attendees, was most excited to see Amy Winehouse on sunday -- however, she cancelled at the last minute due to exhaustion - understandable as she's been globe-trotting on her tour -- but disappointing nonetheless.
1) We wandered in and out of littler venues and saw some nice straight-ahead jazz -- very chilled -- as we have done historically on sundays.
2) SLY STONE - a shadow of himself at nearly 60 years old, it was nice to see him get out there and try to do his thing -- but disheartening to see his staggering declining health.
3) JOSHUA REDMAN trio - in a word INCREDIBLE. he made a few references to his latest album "Back East" - especially poking fun at the fact that he was competing for audience with Snoop Dogg - who was performing on the main stage for the festivals conclusion simultaneously - saying "i feel bad stealing some of his crowd -- Snoop and I basically share alot of the same audience" -- and "the next song is from my newest album BACK EAST - no offense to Snoop -- i still love the West Coast." Josh brought on two friends, with whom he belted out phenomenal alto/ tenor sax collaborative "solos".
My dad and I again had a great time. It is a nice chance for us to reconnect like the old days, just he and i sharing our love of jazz and of each other's company. more photos on my flickr page.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
are you ready for this one?! my mom was was supposed to fly out of la paz - headed to miami - then eventually nyc on monday morning. that didn't happen. el alto (the highest portion of bolivia) got a severe snow storm and all flights were grounded. the airport in el alto is the highest in the world. when i was there 2 years ago, i witnessed the sun rise from beneath the airport - no joke. anyhow, no flights on monday -- tuesday flights completely booked -- but we got her on wednesday's flight - thankfully. so now - here's the kicker. i was planning to be in miami for a meeting wed anyhow, and had booked that trip about 10 days ago. turns out the connecting flight for my mom from bolivia was the same flight i'd booked myself on to return from my meeting. crazy - right?!?!?!? so -- long story short :: today i saw my mom for the first time in a year, and we embraced at miami int'l airport, of all places. i was able to use miles and upgrade us to first class, so we chatted about the family, her flight and our plans for her visit while sipping on frosty beverages - eating warmed mix nuts - and scarfing down our ravioli dinner.
my mom had awoken at 5am to catch her flight, she you might surmise she is exhausted. thus, after minimal unpacking, she collapsed. pictured above. :) tomorrow i fly to see my dad for the weekend -- don't worry mom is here for 3 weeks, so we'll see plenty of one another despite my jaunting off for a few days for the jazz festival.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
central park summer stage
Originally uploaded by djtakefive.
today i went to central park's summer stage to see CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA & hear DJ SPINNA play some tunes. i was joined by my friends scott & oren. it's nice to go to these great NYC events in the summer - and there are so many that are FREE. oren and i were discussing how so many people enjoy heading out to the hamptons, fire island and the like.. but for us, the best time to be in the city is now. with some new yorkers headed out for the weekends and the heat keeping away a portion of the regular barage of tourists, it leaves the loveliness NYC has to offer to the those you truly love the big apple...even when it's steamy. for more info on summer events, click here.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
my good friend Darryl Maxwell (D-Max) came to town. he took the train up from DC to attend the NBA Draft. when the event was sold out upon his arrival, i quickly called dan for help. dan, or as i called him "el presidente", was able to get darryl a ticket. Darryl had a fun time watching the festivities - as well as heckling Stephen A Smith. why does he yell all the time? ! we may never know.
anyhow, to give you a bit of history, Dmax and I went to high school around the corner from each other, but never met -- until we both landed at PENN. we were fast friends and have been so ever since that first week in the Quad when we went to WAWA, toured the music shops at Houston Hall and rolled to Gimbell gym to play basketball together. since then, he has gotten a law degree, works at some snazzy law firm doing M&A anti-trust -- and most importantly, found himself a lovely wife.
it has been great to see my friend these past few days. can't believe it'll be our 10 year college reunion soon. brothas are gettin' old!!!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
my friend henri posted to his blog last month his "tools of the trade" - the essentials he leaves home with. now that i work at a mobile phone company, i see how dependent many of us are on our device -- i thought it cool for henri to show what else he rolls out with. they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery --- to that end, i present jp's tools.
UNO : My Nokia N95 - with a 5mp camera, the ability to pop on the net at all times, and with over 100 songs to keep me groovin' -- it truly is not ONE thing - but MANY.
DOS : My thumb-ring from Tibet. Note, I've never been to Tibet - but you gotta love NYC, where you buy buy a super cool ring on the street, in this case, in front of one of my fav movie houses.
TRES : my brand new super fly talking "metal dork" watch by Nixon. the aforementioned henri totally put me on to this brand. some incredible watches. take a look for yourself.
***what are your "tools"??? post a comment or link to your blog, will ya?
Monday, June 25, 2007
guru, of gangstarr, has been releasing jazzmatazz volumes since the early 90s. they gave folks like me a nice intro to jazz greats, like lonnie liston smith and roy ayers, by fusing them with hiphop. he is set to release Vol. 4 soon, and the first single features Common, whose flow is solid, as always. the video is kinda cool too - on the cartoon tip. check it out:
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
last weekend i attended my good friend, jamal's wedding. it was in south carolina and man was it HOT! the day of, it was 97 degrees. no joke! charleston is supposedly a beautiful city. to be honest, i did not see much of it. it was simply too damn hot! the night prior jamal's family hosted a bbq on the property that their ancestor bought directly from his slave-owner. the south is full of heritage - good & bad. on a more upbeat note, the wedding was at a nice quaint church. a cute, quick ceremony. and the reception was held in a wonderfully restored rice mill building. a good time was had by all - and both jessica and jamal were beaming with joy. that's all you can ask for, really. well - that and below 90 degree temperatures.... :)